Brick FAQs | Triangle Brick Company

Triangle Brick Company: Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about our brick, building with brick or working with Triangle Brick Company? You’ve come to the right place. Take a look below, and feel free to contact us if you still need assistance! 


GENERAL


Q: What are the advantages of building with brick?

A: No other building material can match brick’s classic elegance, high resale value, energy efficiency, durability, low maintenance, and wide variety of available colors and textures:

  • Brick conveys an image of substance and permanence, and it never goes out of style. Many of the world’s most beautiful, enduring and admired homes and other buildings are made of brick.
  • Brick homes have resale values as much as 6 percent higher than those of comparable houses finished with other siding materials.
  • Brick offers fewer opportunities for air infiltration than other commonly used siding materials, and is heavy and dense, giving it a very high thermal mass. This means that during the summer, a brick home remains cool in the heat of the day and then releases the heat energy during the night hours. Similarly, in winter, a brick home stores and reflects heat back into the living space, keeping it warmer.
  • One of the oldest and most durable building materials in the world, brick resists fire, doesn’t rot or corrode, and can’t be eaten by termites or other insects. Brick structures that are hundreds of years old are still in use today. Their durability and resistance to hazards often make brick homes eligible for discounts on homeowner’s insurance (check with your agent).
  • Brick homes never need painting, and their siding never rots, splits, corrodes, dents or tears. Compared with wood-, vinyl-, aluminum-, or artificial-stucco sided structures, brick homes are virtually maintenance free.

Q: I found a style of brick on your website that I think I might like to use for my new home. What's my next step?

A: We've included a useful tool on our website, the Dealer Locator, which you can use to find a reseller in your area. Simply type in your city and state, and we'll list a number of dealers in your area that can help you. If you still have questions after using our Dealer Locator, please contact us with any questions or comments you may have. If you are in the local area, we welcome you to contact our Design Consultant to schedule an appointment to visit our Design Center and tour our Brick Garden.


Q: What resources would you recommend to someone interested in building with brick?

A: Great question! Besides talking to our Design Consultant or customer service team, you might also find the following links useful:

  • Brick Industry Association – The Brick Industry Association is considered "The National Authority on Clay Brick Construction." Here, you'll find useful information geared toward architects and designers, landscape designers, builders, homeowners and planners, as well as general and technical information about brick
  • Masonry Advisory Council - The Masonry Advisory Council's site offers FREE technical information on masonry design and construction. 
  • National Association of Home Builders - NAHB is a trade association that helps to promote the policies that make housing a national priority. Learn more about building, buying, owning or remodeling a home, as well as additional information on various topics related to homeownership.

Q: I have questions — who can I talk to?

A: We welcome any questions or comments from our website visitors. Just contact us online, and we'll be happy to answer your questions in a timely manner.


DESIGN


Q. What should I bring with me for my initial design consultation?

A: Please see our Residential and Commercial Design pages for details.


Q: How accurate are the brick images on your website?

A: We've attempted to portray Triangle Brick's product line as accurately as possible for display on this website, but differences in monitor brightness and settings on viewers' computers can have an effect on color consistency and clarity. If you'd like to see a particular Triangle Brick product, you can meet with our Design Consultant in our Design Center, visit our brand-new Brick Garden, visit a dealer’s showroom, or use our online Brick Locator to find actual homes or commercial facilities in your area built with our products.


Q. What is the difference between sandfaced and tumbled brick?

A: One of the ways we achieve texture on brick is by adding sand or sawdust to the surface or even tumbling or rumbling the brick. Sandfaced brick is pretty common throughout the industry, and it is simply a brick where sand has been applied to the surface prior to being fired, or as we say it, “baked,” in the kiln to create a sandy texture on the face. It adds depth and richness to the texture of our brick.

Tumbled brick is very special because the beauty of the brick lies in its imperfection. We literally tumble the brick during the manufacturing process to give it the old-world rustic look that so many of our customers love. There are different types of tumble available: estate tumble, washed tumble and tumbled edge; all of which provide unique character and appeal to any design scheme.


 

Q: What is the difference between the various mortar joint styles?

A: Mortar, just like the thread in your favorite apparel, can serve as an interesting architectural element that can give a whole new look to a brick wall. We love to play with different mortar joint styles.

One thing to consider when selecting your style is that installation price may vary based on the mortar joint style you select. You should check with your mason or builder to ensure they can successfully lay the mortar joint style you would like and then verify their pricing is still within your budget. As you can imagine, with more ornate joint styles, there is more craftsmanship and labor involved.


Q: Why is mortar color so important?

A: Mortar represents approximately 20 percent of the total surface of a wall; therefore, the mortar color you choose will be an integral part of your exterior design selections.  Mortar, much like grout for tile, can be tinted to blend or contrast with your brick color(s).

One of the primary ingredients in mortar is sand. The sand color will affect the finished look of your mortar color. Lighter color sands are generally recommended for lighter colored mortars.

Our Design Center consultant, will be able to assist you in picking the perfect mortar color to achieve your overall exterior design goals.


Q: What are the different bonding types available in brickwork?

A: Often confused with mortar joints, the brickwork bonds are the actual patterns in which the brick is laid. Some vocabulary to remember when talking bonding:

  • Course – a row of bricks
  • Header – the short side of the brick facing out
  • Stretcher – the long side of the brick facing out

Q: What is a “jack arch”?

A: A “jack arch” is an assembly of specially shaped brick used as a decorative accent over windows and doors. They are made to order for each job and usually take several weeks to produce from the ordering date. Jack arches often use a keystone, a decorative triangular shape made from clay, concrete or limestone placed in the center of the jack arch.

Many other specially shaped decorative bricks are used on steps, window, water tables and door sills. Please see our Brick Finder or Shapes Guide, or contact your sales representative or local distributor for more information.


PRODUCTS


Q. What is the difference in price between brick and stone?

A: There is no easy way to answer this question because both stone and brick come in different textures, finishes and colors. The mining and manufacturing requirements for a particular type of brick will most certainly drive the price, and the same is true with stone.

Triangle Brick Company happens to mine their own raw materials for all the brick we make and we manufacture our brick on the same site as the mine. However, stone can vary widely; be sure that when comparing stone to brick that you know if you are comparing cultured stone, a composite of fiberglass and resin, or a natural stone harvested from a quarry.


Q. Why does my brick look different than my neighbors, even though it is the same brick?

A: What a great question! The beauty of having an organic product on your home is that it will vary slightly based on lighting, moisture, mortar color, your paint or cladding accents, and the run of brick. We like to think of brick as an art, not a science, so that means no two runs of brick are exactly alike.


TECHNICAL


Q: I have a white powder on my brick. What is this, and what do I do about this?

A: This white powder is called “efflorescence” and is caused by water in the wall dissolving mineral salts in the brick or mortar. When this leaches to the surface, the water evaporates, leaving a whitish mineral-salt residue. Most efflorescence is water soluble, so it can usually be removed by washing with plain water when the weather and the wall are warm and dry. This helps keep the cleaning water from causing additional efflorescence.

The only long-term cure for this condition is to stop water from entering the wall by ensuring that any flashing or caulking is correctly installed and defect-free.


Q: How should I clean my brick?

A: To clean excess mortar off the face of the brick on new construction, see our instructions on the back of each tag on every cube of our bricks.

Other products are available for removing mud, scum, algae, etc. Please consult your Triangle Brick representative or your masonry-supply dealer for further information.

CAUTION: Do not use muriatic acid. Do not use any type of liquid to clean light-colored sand-faced brick. Do not use high-pressure washers.


Q. Will the finish come off of my brick?

A: Brick is made to last for generations; that’s why we love it so much. As with anything, you have to properly care for it to maintain its beauty, but you will not be required to do the extensive upkeep and maintenance that is often required with many other cladding choices. Always feel free to call our customer service team or your sales representative at 800-672-8547 should you have any questions or concerns.


Q: Should I allow ivy or other plants to grow on my brick walls?

A: The short answer is “no.” Plants that grow on brick walls force root tendrils into mortar joints. Moisture can then penetrate deeply into the wall, and the freeze-thaw cycle, as well as the mechanical action of the roots, can cause serious damage to the mortar and even the bricks. This can dramatically shorten the life of a brick wall.

The issue becomes more complex when plants have grown on a brick wall for a long time. Without great care, removing old growth can cause further damage to the wall. Consult with a professional mason before removing extensive old growth.